My regrets as Zamfara gov —Yari
The immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdul Aziz Yari Abubakar, says he left office in May 2019 without achieving all he had set out to achieve, despite being in office for eight years. He speaks to ATTAHIRU AHMED in Gusau, the state capital.
In a nutshell, what are those things you were unable to accomplish while in office as governor?
I had thought I was going to hand over to a person who knew where I stopped and who was going to continue from where we stopped as a political party. Unfortunately, that was not how God designed it to be. I left behind a number of projects I had wanted to accomplish such as the state-owned university. I wanted the university project to reach between 60 or 70 per cent completion stage so that my successor will complete it. The Anka-Bagega road is among other projects I wanted to achieve 100 per cent, but I couldn’t because of the financial crisis in the state.
In 2011 when you took over, how many uncompleted projects did your administration inherit?
When I took over, I met more than 480 different projects uncompleted. Some were at the level of 20 per cent, others were at 30 per cent, while only a few had reached 60 per cent level of completion. When my tenure was coming to an end, I was hoping to hand over to a person that would ensure continuity.
Insecurity appears to be the most frightening challenge confronting Zamfara. How did you feel when you left office without resolving the menace of banditry in the state?
I inherited the problem of security in Zamfara and I had never wished to leave office without tackling the problem. So, a lot resources were spent in the effort to tackle the security issues. I know that many lives were lost and properties were destroyed due to the insecurity. So, I identified persistent insecurity in the state as one of the things I was unable to tackle, despite the huge funds invested by my administration.
What advice do you have for the people and other stakeholders in the state on the issue of security?
On a serious note, I am calling on all the stakeholders to give the present government the necessary support to end banditry in the state. I also urge the people to cooperate with the security agencies and support government policy designed to tackle insecurity in the state and Nigeria in general. Without safety of lives and properties, I don’t think there will be any meaningful development.
What is your message to members of your party, which is now in opposition in Zamfara?
To our teeming supporters, I want them to know that we have to come together and support the government, irrespective of political differences. We should support the government for the sake of a prosperous Zamfara State. Let me also stress that the state chapter of the APC will play a credible opposition to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC, as the main opposition party, will offer constructive criticisms that will assist the PDP-led state government in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people. We will engage in the type of criticisms that will be based on facts, objectivity and fairness, not criticisms that will be meant to destroy. The politics of Zamfara politics is akin to one family, even though we have our resolved and unresolved differences. Lastly, we are organising ourselves for a stronger political party ahead for the politics of 2023.